Health-related Articles

Finding the Right Kind of Mental Health Support at the Right Time

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Finding the Right Kind of Mental Health Support at the Right TimeOur society has come a long way in terms of open dialogue about mental health and wellness. What used to be swept under the rug, looked down upon and ostracized is now discussed freely and holistically. However, too many Americans still have a foggy notion of available mental and physical wellness options.

When most think of mental health, images come to mind of a doctor hiding behind a notepad and a patient lying on a long black couch. But many new models exist which can be more beneficial and transformative.

The Benefits of Stress

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The Benefits of StressStress.

What comes to your mind when you hear, read or write this word?

Most people consider stress to be bad. Many books and articles have been written about it. Much advice has been given on how to manage or overcome it. It is an unpleasant condition, which each of us try to avoid.

But stress is not necessarily your enemy.

The Alternative Road to Health and Wellness

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

The Alternative Road to Health and WellnessMany mental health professionals have long conceded that while temperament is inborn, personality can change a bit over time. Factors that can influence this susceptibility to change include variables such as family, genetics, environment and circumstances, which all serve to contribute to the shaping of an individual’s unique personality over the course of a lifetime.

One’s environment — which largely is controllable — is a major factor in achieving and sustaining happiness. In Spontaneous Happiness, holistic health pioneer Dr. Andrew Weil shares his secrets to finding happiness based on his own lifelong battle with depression.

The Usefulness of Collaborative Care

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

The Usefulness of Collaborative CareMany patients with mental health issues go to their primary care doctor either because they assume their symptoms are medical or simply because it is their only doctor. However, primary care doctors are not trained in mental healthcare and do not have the necessary time to address mental health concerns.

How would you feel if a mental health professional came to chat with you while you were sitting in the doctor’s office? Would it remove some of the stigma of calling a shrink? After all, you didn’t seek out this mental health professional. You did not even have to make an appointment to see them.

Taking a Closer Look at Health Benefits of Meditation

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Enlightening Our Universities and Medical Schools About the Health Benefits of MeditationMeditation research has come a long way since the first scientific study on meditation was published in a peer-reviewed journal in 1971 [1]. That study declared the discovery of a major fourth state of consciousness— the state of restful alertness — experienced during the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique.

Now there are over 1,000 published studies on various meditation practices, with over 600 studies on the TM technique alone. Many universities, medical schools and hospitals offer classes in mind-body medicine and provide training in meditation.

Nevertheless, recent press reports about a scientific review [2] published in JAMA Internal Medicine (January 2014) raised questions about the extent of health benefits that can be claimed for meditation. While the review has been criticized as too narrowly focused to represent the current state of meditation research — it excluded many major studies and randomized clinical trials — there is an upside: The JAMA review may prompt health professionals to look closer at meditation and discover how far the research has actually come at verifying the health benefits and specific effects of different practices.

Why I Enrolled in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Why I Enrolled in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction ProgramA Buddhist proverb says that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

After five years of trying to learn and practice mindfulness — moment-to-moment awareness, or paying attention to the present moment on my own and ending up, well, different than the bald guys in the ocher and saffron robes, I decided that I was in desperate need of a teacher and some direction.

So I enrolled in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR) at my local hospital.

Living with Extreme Sound Sensitivity

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Living with Extreme Sound SensitivityIf you feel disgusted to the point of rage when you hear the sound of chewing, swallowing, breathing, throat-clearing and other common “people” noises, you’re not alone. You’re also not crazy. Misophonia is a sound sensitivity disorder, which makes certain noises intolerable to the sufferer.

Although this condition is primarily neurological, the experience of these sounds can cause psychological distress. The term misophonia was developed by Pawel and Margaret Jastreboff, American neuroscientists. Literally translated, it means “hatred of sounds.”

Why Fasting Can Be Beneficial

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Why Fasting Can Be BeneficialThis spring I’ve decided to go on a fast. For 40 days, I will be giving up consumption of meat and chocolate.

Why do people fast and what is the meaning behind it?

Fasting is an act of willing abstinence or reduction from certain foods or drinks, or both for a certain period of time. We’ve all done it, whether we’ve realized it or not. Many of us have had a horrible morning with a vicious hangover and have stopped drinking for a period of time. I’m also pretty sure that at one point you’ve decided to stay away from a particular food that gave you food poisoning or made you feel sick.

How Social Media Affects Our Self-Perception

Friday, March 14th, 2014

How Social Media Affects Our Self-PerceptionNot long ago, a friend of mine deleted her Instagram account. I couldn’t understand why one would ever do such a thing, so I asked and her response caught me off-guard.

She deleted her Instagram because she felt herself becoming depressed by it. The pressure of taking the right picture, with the right filter, wearing the right outfit, at the right place, with the right people was too much pressure.

We are conditioned to project only our best, albeit unrealistic, selves on our social media profiles as a modern way of virtually keeping up with the Joneses.

7 Tips for Authentic Engagement in an Online Support Community

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

7 Tips for Authentic Engagement with an Online Support Community

Online support communities offer patients, people, caregivers, family members, and even professionals the opportunity to engage with one another in an environment designed to encourage discussion. Not only do people engage in emotional support and discussions, but they also exchange valuable information about their own research, experiences, and techniques that work for them.

Support communities are so much more than a simple social group with a shared purpose. They serve as a lifeline to a person in crisis or need, and the newly-diagnosed who is scared their life may never be the same.

So how do you authentically engage in such communities?

Help Us Win This Design Challenge in Mental Health

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Help Us Win This Design Challenge in Mental Health

It’s not everyday I turn to our readers for their help, but I’m going to do so with the first design challenge Psych Central has entered. Along with my colleague and regular Psych Central contribute (and an “Ask the Therapist”) Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D., we’ve submitted an entry we’d like you to vote for.

Your vote matters, so please, take the 20 seconds it takes to vote for our entry now (sorry it’s not obvious, but the voting form is at the very bottom of the entry… so keep scrolling!).

If you’d like to read more about our thinking and entry behind the challenge, click through…

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep — Even When You’re Depressed

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

How to Get a Good Night's Sleep -- Even When You're DepressedPeople suffering from depression and bipolar are usually significantly affected by disrupted sleep patterns.

I remember all too well the frustration. Sometimes you spend hours in bed, unable to get out, yet you just can’t sleep. Other times you end up sleeping, but wake up at 4 a.m., your mind racing with all sorts of negative thoughts.

It’s not just me. Patrick Kennedy and Tricia Goddard, who I interviewed in Back From The Brink, rated getting the right amount of sleep as very important.

Depression both causes and is compounded by sleep disruption. The low energy caused by sleep deprivation also affects your ability to treat depression. How on earth can you make and attend appointments with experts, exercise or eat properly when you are perpetually exhausted?

Recent Comments
  • normalguy: I think number 1 and 2 cover it the most. I love my wife thoroughly, no other woman has ever come even...
  • Anna: Saint Theresa. I too have depression and have to fight it all the time with exercise and surrounding myself...
  • Granny Flee: James, do you know anything that can help bipolar cycles. Usually I experience a Mania cycle caused by...
  • Survivor of people with BPD: I consider myself of a survivor of BPD. I grew up with a mom who was a really bad BPD....
  • Alpha: I would monitor him closely over the next year to see how he progresses. If he doesn’t improve, I highly...
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